Curriculum integration on an elementary school level is one of the most important features of the modern education process. Textbook Rainbow, published by the publishing house “Baltos lankos”, is a novel approach to phenomenon-based learning, to the child and his teaching process. It invites everyone involved in education to look at the students and the world around them as an indivisible whole.
The idea of phenomenon based learning has made a huge impact on education and has spread rapidly around the world. In terms of methodology, the educational material can be regarded on several levels: from individual cross-curricular links to structural integration, where different materials are combined into universal thinking patterns.
A new perspective on the systematic integration of learning materials is proposed in “Rainbow”. In the first and second grades it is based on thematic integration; in the third and fourth grades, integration becomes structural - children are not only offered to look at the subject from various positions but also are given the opportunity to develop universal scientific, artistic thinking and social problem-solving patterns.
Third and fourth-grade textbook kits, in addition to the integrated curriculum, pay more attention to the emotional intellect. Therefore, subject-specific and general skills are not separated and pupils move towards holistic education.
Curriculum integration is attributed to higher skills in pupils. This is because children learn to use the knowledge of one subject to another, becomes able to look for different life events links, see themselves as an integral part of the surrounding environment.
The textbook for each grade consists of nine books. One book per month contains all the necessary subject material. Every book is based on an abstract monthly theme and is divided into more specific weekly topics based on science lessons. The subject matter is rather broad but closely associated with each and every subject. The textbook lies on two equally important pillars: themes, which connect all the subjects, and methodology, which assures that general knowledge and subject-specific skills are developed as required by the general education program.
A clear and logical structure of the textbook eases the organization of the teaching process. Tasks are tailored according to students' age, different needs, and abilities. Driven by active teaching methods, children are allowed to experience, discover, test, and create.
Textbook content is relevant to the child - it contains material related to the student's everyday experience at school and outside of it. Stories with recurring characters, developed for this textbook, encourage students to identify with their peers. The questions raised provoke discussions about their own problems and invite them to share their own experiences.
The textbook is supplemented by exercise books, teacher's books and CDs based on the same principles and materials. An interactive teaching (learning) tool e-lankos is an online platform where teachers can find digital versions of textbooks, teacher’s books, sound recordings, and tests as well as supplementary materials that help add variety to lessons.
Rainbow's authors envisioned to create a teaching (learning) process where the constructive activity of three partners - child, parent, and teacher - is the core of scholar experience. Parents are encouraged to get involved, be interested, to participate in the educational process and help their child achieve excellent results.